The Apple Of God's Eye

March 2, 2011

Why Did Jesus Curse The Fig Tree?

Filed under: Fruits (Works) — melchia @ 2:50 pm
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about-garden.com

Commentaries generally agree that fig trees in the area of Palestine produce fruit for much of the year, if they bear at all. Unlike most trees, the fig tree first produces its fruit and afterward its leaves (see Song of Solomon 2:13). The immature fruit, though green and hard, is considered edible if one is sufficiently in need. It was not out of the way for Jesus to look for fruit in March since the tree was shrouded with luxuriant green leaves, making a show of being a worthy tree. But when Jesus found nothing on the tree, He used it as an example to teach His disciples — and us — some spiritual principles. Seeing the tree was obviously worthless as a fruit bearer — not just at that time of year but all seasons — He had no compunction about cursing and killing it as an object lesson for all.

First, with a tree having leaves but not figs, an element of deception is involved. Secondly this incident teaches that the outward appearance and show is not what counts with God. What counts is production of fruit (Luke 13:3-9; Galatians 5:22-23). It matters not how much we profess to be Christians if we bear no fruit. And the rapid drying up of the fig tree pictures how we will likewise be cursed and die, if we are found to be barren at the time Christ calls for an accounting.

In Luke 13:6-7 (Revised Standard Version), Jesus expressed the principle this way: “A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came seeking fruit on it and found none. And he said to the vinedresser, ‘Lo, these three years I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and I find none. Cut it down.’ ” Then the vinedresser prevailed on him to leave the tree for one more year, to cultivate around it, and to fertilize it, to see if finally it might possibly bear fruit, “but if not, you can cut it down.”

The parable shows the long-suffering of God, and His willingness to give every possible aid. But finally His allotted time for production comes to an end.

Though the fig tree, like the olive and the vine, was a symbol of the Judaean commonwealth, which was about to be cut down, verses 1 to 5 make it clear that Jesus meant the lesson to apply also to each individual.

John the baptizer also told the Pharisees and Sadducees: “Bear fruit that befits repentance … Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees; every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire” (Matthew 3:8,10, RSV).

July 28, 2009

Why Did Jesus Curse The Fig Tree?

gbcdecatur.org

gbcdecatur.org

Why did Jesus curse a fig tree in Mark 11:12-14?

“At a distance, Jesus saw a fig tree WITH LEAVES, and, being hungry, He approached it hoping to find some fruit, for figs will quite often appear EARLIER than the leaves. Upon reaching the tree, all He found were leaves; the tree had produced no fruit. Mark, the author of the book, added the comment that “the time of figs was not yet” (verse 13). This statement is somewhat puzzling — until we understand the growing and fruiting cycles of fig trees.

Notice the following interesting information about the fig season in Palestine: “It has been asked, ‘How could our Lord expect to find ripe figs in the end of March?’ Answer, Because figs were ripe in Judea as early as the PASSOVER. Besides, the fig tree puts forth its fruit FIRST, and afterwards its leaves. Indeed, this tree, in the climate which is proper for it, has fruit on it all the year round, as often seen” (Clarke’s Commentary).

Fruit tree growers know that ordinarily a small amount of fruit ripens prior to the main crop. It is referred to as the first ripe fruit or the firstfruits. When Jesus approached the tree, it was the time of the firstfruits of figs, but it was not yet time for the main harvest. Mark 11:13 must mean that the particular tree on which Christ expected to find figs was barren, because it had no figs on it at all. It did not fulfill its purpose, and, as any diligent orchardist would do, Jesus simply eliminated an unproductive tree, not with an axe or a saw, but by faith.

Please compare Luke 13:6-9. Jesus used this incident to teach His disciples — and all Christians today — that the outward appearance does not count with God. Instead, what really counts is whether or not one produces godly fruit in his or her life (Luke 13:6-9; Gal. 5:22-23; John 15:8, 16).

June 29, 2009

The Tongue: An Unruly Evil

“Show me a Christian that has tamed the tongue,  and I’ll show you a perfect man.”

True Christians are God’s ambassadors on earth. Their citizenship is in heaven and they represent and speak on behalf of the true God of the universe. So God wants to teach them to speak like Him, which means knowing how to rule the tongue.

“For we all make many mistakes, and if anyone makes no mistakes in what he says he is a perfect man, able to bridle the whole body also” (Jam. 3:2, RSV).

We all make mistakes, but mistakes should not be our way of life. If Christians are able to bridle the whole body, then Christ can rule over them.

“Behold we put bits in the horses’ mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body. Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet they are turned about with a very small helm; whithsoever the governor listeth”(verses 3-4).

A whole ship can be guide through waves and storms with a little rudder. Our tongue expresses what is in our mind – and if we can just control our tongues, we actually guide our whole being and demonstrate a great deal of character.

“Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! And the tongue is a fire, a world of inequity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell”(verses 5-6).

Hell comes from the Greek word Gehenna, and refers to the lake of fire. God is talking about His begotten sons here, whose eternal lives are at stake. The expression “whole body”, speaks of defiling our whole being — setting the body of Christ on fire — making it a world of inequity. Just by the wrong use of our tongue, we can talk ourselves right into the lake of fire.

Why is it so important to tame our tongue? Because those whom God is working with now will teach every person who has ever lived. Christians need the mind of Christ to direct everything they say. Jesus Christ continually spoke uplifting words while He was here on earth. This is the mind that must be in Christians. They must learn to exercise wisdom in this area. They must learn to say things that will encourage people and lift them up.

A parent also can alter the entire direction of a child’s life, just by the words he speaks to the child. Once your communication turns negative, the cycle quickly becomes destructive. This is the time to repent and watch the tongue. Christ holds the Christian parent accountable for every word he utters.

In general, manking cannot control the tongue and has turned this world into tohu and bohu. It is ruled by deceitful and desperately wicked hearts (Jer. 17:9).

James teaches us about the tongue as no other book in the Bible does. The tongue should express the thoughts of Christ’s mind (Phil. 2:5). But good or bad, the tongue expresses what is on the mind.

“For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind: But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison”(Jam. 3:7-8).

Our tongue is full of lethal poison, and no man can tame it. Only God can. Notice: “Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God” (James 3:9).

James emphasizes the fact that we are made in the likeness of God. We look like God and were also created with a mind that  animals dont havein order to develop the mind, or image, of God! Man has a much higher potential than any animal which can’t be given the love or wisdom of God! But to achieve that potential, he must learn to control the tongue. That takes the character and mind of Christ. The more you get that mind in you, the more you overcome your human nature and become a force for good!

“Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be” (verse 10). Do we bless God, but don’t talk like Him? Do we  love to praise God and “love Jesus”—but at the same time, commit unlawful acts? That is like bitter and sweet water coming from the same fountain, and God will have none of that!

We are ambassadors for Christ. We speak for Him. Do we talk like God? Do we talk like the Bible? Is our speech grounded in God’s Word?

“Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter? Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? Either a vine, figs? So can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh” (verses 11-12). God demands that we speak the truth. How incongruous would it be to receive bitter and sweet water from the same fountain.

Water is a type of God’s Holy Spirit. We must let God’s Holy Spirit produce pure thoughts in our minds—not contradictory thoughts of confusion.

“Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom” (verse 13).

A good conversation is coupled with wisdom, which is the mind of God. This is edifying and uplifting and shows the fruits necessary for Christian growth. God makes a big deal out of a little member of our body. True Christians should take note and make the necessary chanhes to please their creator. Nothing else will satisfy God. And nothing else will bring the reward of eternal life.

June 24, 2009

Could The Earth Contain All The Resurrected People Of History?

researchpark.arc.nasa.gov

researchpark.arc.nasa.gov

This world in its present state could hold few more people. Many areas are terribly overcrowded. Tillable land is becoming more scarce in many countries, and much of the world is covered with gigantic mountain ranges which are too high to be of use. Deserts or polar regions monopolize each continent at this time, and pollution, wars, and many other problems have lessened the earth’s capacity to support additional people.

It is unlikely, then, that the world could now contain all those who will ever have lived. What we need to keep in mind, however, is that they will not live in this world, this age, this society. They will be resurrected after a thousand years of renovation by God’s Government (Rev. 20:4-5). Here are some of the physical changes that will be made.

Mountains will be miraculously lowered to a tillable height, and valleys below sea level will be elevated (Isa. 40:4). The deserts will blossom abundantly (Isa. 35:1-2). God will restore a right climate to the earth and will provide rain when needed (Isa. 30:23; 35:7; Zech. 10:1). These changes will take time, but Christ and the saints will have a thousand years to prepare the entire earth for the multitudes that will be resurrected after the millennium.

Suppose that at the time the events of Revelation 20:11-12 occur, 40 billion people will have lived. Could the earth possibly support this number? Simple mathematics — fifty million square miles of land surface shared by forty billion people — tell us that there would be about five acres of land available for each four-to six-member household. This would be large enough to feed the household and leave plenty of space for other purposes. This fits perfectly with Micah 4:4: “They shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid.”

The Bible clearly shows the logic of God’s plan for mankind.

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